Did you know that we can have as many as 50,000 thoughts a day? That’s an awful lot, so it’s no surprise that we can find it hard to declutter our overactive minds. This is where meditation or dhyana comes in. Practised by Buddhist monks for centuries, meditation trains the mind to develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity and inner calm.
According to reports, the oldest known evidence of meditation comes from wall arts created between 5000 to 3500 BC. These paintings, found in the Indian subcontinent, show how deeply ingrained this practice is within our culture. In fact, almost all scriptures in Hinduism talk about different forms of.
Practising 10-15 minutes daily can help reduce anxiety, bring clarity, and help you make better decisions. Since the arrival of COVID-19, all of these have become necessary requirements. So if you find yourself struggling to cope with the pandemic, returning to this ancient practice can be highly beneficial.
Listed below are some scientific benefits to help you add meditation to your daily routine:
It’s easy to get distracted in today’s hyper-connected world, and it can be challenging to block out background noise. Meditation can help. Studies show it improves attention by teaching us how to focus and be aware of our thoughts. It’s a relaxation technique which physically increases the grey matter in our brain, specifically the areas controlling emotion and response. The result? Sharper focus, memory and learning.
Stress can cause so much damage to our physical and mental health, triggering anxiety, raised blood pressure and other associated conditions. Thankfully, the relaxation response triggered by meditation can help. For example, it has been shown to reduce muscular tension, decrease blood pressure and improve heart rate, breathing and even brain waves.
A happier mind
MRI scans of the brain show that the ‘fight or flight’ region involved in how we respond to stress shrinks after two months of meditation. At the same time, the pre-frontal cortex that’s thought to be linked to social behaviour and decision-making grows. This suggests that meditation can help our mind disconnect from its centre of stress.
About 30% of adults have problems sleeping, and this is often correlated with stress and an overactive mind. Meditation helps calm the mind by enabling us to focus on the present and to untangle our thoughts. When we learn how to meditate, we gain greater clarity and control over our reactions and responses. This, in turn, helps us to sleep more soundly. For people who have been suffering from chronic insomnia, meditation music can be of help.
Prevents brain ageing
Studies show a link between meditation and brain ageing, suggesting that an enhancement in mental focus and flexibility from meditation can help to protect the mind from cognitive decline. Other lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise and education, are important but like any muscle, the brain needs regular exercise!
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